Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk

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His Excellency Hilarion (Alfeyev), Bishop of Vienna and Austria, is a hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate, theologian, church historian, and composer. He is also the author of several volumes on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history, numerous articles in various languages, and musical compositions.


Hilarion Alfeyev was born on July 24, 1966 in Moscow.

From 1972 to 1982 he studied violin, piano, and composition at the Moscow Gnessins School and from 1983 to 1986 at the Moscow State Conservatory.

In January 1987 he entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilinius, Lithuania, where he was tonsured as a monk on June 19, ordained a deacon on June 21 and ordained a priest on August 19 of the same year. Until 1991 he served as a parish priest in Lithuania, including two years as dean of Annunciation Cathedral in Kaunas.

In 1989 he graduated by correspondence from the Moscow Theological Seminary and in 1991 from the Moscow Theological Academy, with the degree of Master of Theology.

From 1991 to 1993 he taught Homiletics, Dogmatic Theology, New Testament Studies and Byzantine Greek at the Moscow Theological Academy, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania), and St John the Theologian's Orthodox University.

From 1993 to 1995 he studied at Oxford University (UK) under the supervision of Bishop Kallistos Ware. In 1995 he completed his doctoral thesis on St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

From 1995 to 2001 Hilarion Alfeyev served as Secretary for Inter-Christian Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. He also taught part-time at Smolensk and Kaluga Theological Seminaries (Russia), at St Vladimir's and St Herman's Theological Seminaries (USA) and at Cambridge University (UK).

On December 27, 2001 he was elected bishop and on January 14, 2002 consecrated by His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and 10 other hierarchs. He served as an Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Sourozh in Great Britain until his nomination, on July 17, 2002, as Head Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

On May 7, 2003 he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria, administrator of the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary, in addition to his position in Brussels, which he continues to hold.

Bishop Hilarion is author of more than 500 publications, including four volumes in English: St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2000), The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian (Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI, 2000), The Mystery of Faith: Introduction into the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002), and Orthodox Witness Today (WCC Publications, 2006).

Apart from his doctoral degree in philosophy from Oxford, Bishop Hilarion also holds a doctorate in theology from St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, which was awarded to him in 1999. In February 2005 he was elected a Privat-Dozent of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Bishop Hilarion is a member of the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches, of the Presidium of 'Faith and Order' Commission, as well as of numerous bilateral theological dialogues. In 1998 he headed the five-member Moscow Patriarchate's delegation to the eighth WCC Assembly in Harare, and in February 2006 he headed the Moscow Patriarchate's 21-member delegation to the ninth assembly in Porto-Alegre.

Bishop Hilarion is a permanent member of the Joint International Commissions for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church, between the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.


(Books only)

In English:

1.St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

2.The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian. Cistercian Studies No 175. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 2000.

3.The Mystery of Faith: Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002.

4.Orthodox Witness in a Modern Age. Geneva: WCC Publications, 2006.

5.Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hell in Orthodox Tradition. New York: SVS Press (in preparation).

In French:

6.Le mystère de la foi: Introduction à la théologie dogmatique orthodoxe. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

7.L'univers spirituel d'Isaac le Syrien. Bellefontaine, 2001.

8.Syméon le Studite. Discours ascétique. Introduction, texte critique et notes par H. Alfeyev. Sources Chrétiennes 460. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

9.Le mystère sacré de l'Eglise: Introduction à l'histoire et à la problématique des débats onomatodoxes. Fribourg: Academic Press, 2006.

10.Le chantre de la lumière: Initiation à la spiritualité de saint Grégoire de Nazianze. Paris: Cerf, 2006.

11.Le Nom grand et glorieux. Etude sur la vénération du Nom de Dieu et la prière de Jésus dans la tradition orthodoxe. Paris: Cerf (à paraître).

In Italian:

12.La gloria del Nome. L'opera dello schimonaco Ilarion e la controversia athonita sul Nome di Dio all'inizio dell XX secolo. Edizioni Qiqajon. Bose, Magnano, 2002.

13.La forza dell'amore. L'universo spirituale di sant'Isacco il Syro. Bose: Qiqajon, 2003.

14.Cristo Vincitore degli inferi. Bose: Qiqajon, 2003.

In German:

15.Geheimnis des Glaubens. Einführung in die orthodoxe dogmatische Theologie. Aus dem Russischen übersetzt von Hermann-Josef Röhrig. Herausgegeben von Barbara Hallensleben und Guido Vergauwen. Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz, 2003. 2. Ausgabe — Fribourg: Academic Press, 2005.

In Greek:

16.O agios Isaak o Syros. O pneumatikos tou kosmos. Athina: Akritas, 2005.

In Serbian:

17.Тајна вере: увод у право